The Discipline Armoury: Tip 8 – Be Silly

Tip 1, Tip 2, Tip 3, Tip 4, Tip 5, Tip 6, Tip 7.

Be Silly

For this tip, Pantley uses examples such as pretending to fall down or putting a sock on a hand instead of a foot.  Children find lots of things funny so you don’t have to come up with anything elaborate to make them laugh.

Hubby uses this tactic quite a lot and I have to say he’s a lot better at it than I am.  I think it is because I’ve always been a serious person, I don’t really know how to behave silly.  Having a child has forced me to learn to lighten up.  I’ve discovered that I may not know how to be silly the way hubby is but I can do it my way.  For instance, when I use this tactic with Gavin all I do is change the tone of the mood.  For example, when Gavin does something that could precipitate a reaction from me, I realise that I have two choices – I can get mad and yell at him, or I can twist it and poke fun at it.

For instance, take the bath time example – whenever Gavin protests against having a shower, there is always a moment just before everything goes downhill where I can decide how I’m going to handle it.  Admittedly, when I’m tired, I often miss the cue and it becomes a battle of wills (and screams) to the end.  If I can catch that moment where the path splits, instead of ordering Gavin to remove his clothes, I turn it into a silly match where I tickle him, pull faces and say silly things.  While he’s laughing and defenseless, I strip off his clothes and march him into the shower.  To fend off any protests, I keep the silliness going until we’re out of the shower.  So far it’s worked every time.

Have you used this disciplinary measure on your children?  Please share your experiences below.

The Discipline Armoury: Tip 9 – 5-3-1 Go!


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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